Children who were arrested by Turkish soldiers during Democratic Autonomy resistance in Nusaybin spoke of torture at the hand of Turkish soldiers in custody.
The trial of 67 people including 17 children who were arrested by Turkish soldiers in Mardin’s Nusaybin district during Democratic Autonomy resistance back in 2016 started at Mardin 4th Heavy Penal Court today. Eight of the children were brought to courtroom while nine children were forced to attend the trial via closed-circuit camera system (SEGBIS). Seven of the children refused to give their statements via SEGBIS.
One of the children, H.A. gave his statement to the court. He said that they had to stay in the basements during clashes and were captured by Turkish forces after they left the conflict zone. H.A. spoke about the torture in custody and said that he was forced to sign a statement written by the soldiers.
Another imprisoned child, H.E. said, “We, 25 children who were hiding at the basement surrendered. After we declared that we will surrender, the security forces who came to pick us made a video recording. They said that they would take us to our families but took us to another place instead. Soldiers who were lined eight by eight tortured us. They broke a stick on my back”.
Speaking at the courtroom N.A. told the judges about the torture and verbal abuse and said that they gave their statement to the prosecutor under pressure.
“When I told the prosecutor that I had been tortured, he told me: ‘Pray that you are not dead’” N.A. said.
N.A. told of the torture right after their capture: “When cameras were on or there were health workers around they were behaving good to us, saying that they are trying to help us But when the cameras were turned off they continued to torture us. They took me to another room. There were screams coming from the other part of the building. Two or three people attacked me in that room. They attempted to rape me”.
Another child D.A. also said that he had been sexually abused during the detention and rejected the accusations towards him.
Other children told of the same story and said that they were denied treatment by Turkish soldiers.
The judges denied the statements by the children and their lawyers and decided for the continuation of detention for all of the children. The hearing was adjourned to April 10.